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Whistle-stop Wednesdays: Leading Digital Change

After almost 10 years in the company taking on various roles, Ross John is now our Head of Digital Channels, Performance & Strategy. 

Read on to learn about his career journey so far. 

What do you do in Admiral and how long have you been working here?  

I have been at Admiral for nearly 10 years, anniversary coming up this month! My current role is Head of Digital Channels, Performance & Strategy (Digital ChaPS for short as it’s a mouthful). Since forming the Digital team in 2019, the focus has been to drive the Digital Strategy at Admiral, across the Operations and Claims. We look to build a positive customer experience when using our digital channels and when the customer is utilising all digital touchpoints such as MyAccount or App.  

How did you get into your role? What is your background?  

After graduating from Cardiff Uni, I completed my Chartered Accountancy qualification with KPMG. These early years of my career gave me such a grounding in not only core audit process and skills but stakeholder management, professionalism and hitting deadlines.  

Shortly after qualifying, an opportunity at Admiral in Internal Audit arose. This gave me great insight into Admiral, working closely with senior management to assess risk and process across the business, while specialising in financial controls across the UK and other European businesses. After two and a half years, a role on the Bolt change programme as Business Architect was formed, where I focused on the impact of the Bolt programme on the business. I still couldn’t get away from my finance background however and took hold of the financial controls testing, ensuring appropriate controls were in place across the business to manage the associated risk.  

As the change programme wound down, I took the role of Senior Project Accountant in Finance. Honing my analytical skills, coupled with business knowledge, proved beneficial to building financial models for new ventures such as Ford and other products, while also running the financial budgets process for 2018. Then, the opportunity of a maternity cover role for Customer Contact Strategy (CCS) arose. Although there was some risk associated with certainty of role for only 12 months, having confidence in the business that other opportunities would arise as well as my own ability has resulted in the drive of Digital in the last four years.  

A variety of roles has led to a very rewarding first 10 years at Admiral…I’m very excited to see what might happen over the next 10 years! 

How do you see Digital developing in the next few years?  

Over the last four years we've been advancing our core digital capabilities across self-service processes and digitally enabled channels such as Webchat. This has delivered the core functionality needed but the vision is to continue to transform Admiral into a digital first business by delivering personalised customer experiences, utilising the data available to us in real time and presenting unique journeys for all. We will extend our use of technology while being strongly aligned to the digital customer. To achieve the digital vision, we need to grow across all areas of digital and marketing, so opportunities will form.  

Do you think there are opportunities to grow and develop here?  

I believe my CV across the last 10 years shows the ability to develop and grow at Admiral. As mentioned, some of the roles I have sought out myself, while others have been a result of delivering good work and making a positive contribution to a wider team. Digital and Marketing is currently working on a clearer development pathway, with personal development plans lined up to achieving overall team and department objectives.  

How would you describe the culture here?  

My take on our culture is an ‘open-door, non-hierarchical and positive can-do attitude’ to managing day to day and driving positive change in the future. Hybrid working has given our culture the biggest stress test we could have imagined, but as a business we are determined to maintain these principles.  

Do you have a career-defining moment? 

I think there are two that come to mind. Joining the Bolt programme in Feb 2014 as Business Architect and working alongside the Business Engagement team to try and understand what the impact of Bolt, as the biggest technology change we had at the time, was going to be on the business. The breadth of the role and opportunity that came with it was far reaching, allowing me to create a network at multiple layers of the organisation. 

Another was having expressed a desire to do something different while in Finance, and then having the opportunity to head up Customer Contact Strategy (CCS) to cover maternity for 12 months. This felt slightly risky at the time in terms of the future not being clearly defined for me, but a step I’m very glad I made, with the ability to seek and implement opportunities for scaling Digital within the Operations.  

Do you have any advice for someone looking to join your area? 

Think creatively, have the customer at the centre of all change and remain flexible to the customer and business needs so that we can drive the Digital strategy forward. 



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